eXtension’s New Direction a Benefit to EDEN

Photograph poles with of a lot of telephone wires rolled up and overlappingSometimes it feels as though eXtension, Extension, and EDEN do things in a willy-nilly fashion. But if we look at the big picture, we can see that there is a pattern and that the shifting is in response to clients’ changing needs in a manner that reflects where they are looking for information. That used to happen on paper and in person. Now it’s more online and virtual.

The 2015 EDEN annual meeting, held in Las Cruces, NM, provided opportunity for committees to develop goals for the upcoming year. The Professional Development committee is committed to supporting EDEN’s strategic plan, specifically through its goal to strengthen Extension’s capacity and commitment to address disaster issues. During our session in Las Cruces, we agreed that we should identify and develop training opportunities that will help all Extension professionals be personally better prepared for disaster and as a result, be prepared to help their communities be more disaster resilient.

In other words, we are seeking to create a systems approach which can be endorsed by Program Leaders towards eventual inclusion in institutional programs of work across the country. This system will facilitate more meaningful collaborations between state organizations and land grant institutions to guide emergency management planning and training. This approach will be particularly effective in rural communities and may enrich existing programs at the state level.

Two big questions surfaced during the committee meeting.

  • What are the basic disaster-related skills every Extension educator ought to have?
  • How can the committee provide training opportunities to Extension educators?

Let us know what you think here.

Coincidentally, eXtension has a new direction – help Extension professionals do their work more effectively. The new mission and brand reflect the new focus. For EDEN and the Professional Development committee, that can translate to increased opportunity provide training and resources through tools available to CES Professionals and increased reach and impact through participation in and with the new i-Three Corps on the 2016 focus issues climate and food systems.

Many EDEN delegates are aware that we’ve been involved in eXtension for at least a decade. We’ve contributed significant content to the website and the learning management system (Campus), and we support the Ask an Expert system. The content on the web site will continue to be available and, with your help, we will continue to respond to clients’ questions through the Ask an Expert system.

You may wonder how clients will access our content when you see the new web site design. “The content currently on www.extension.org will be seamlessly moved to a new subdomain and available using the Find Resources button,” according to Terry Meisenbach, eXtension Communication & Marketing Leader.

CEO Christine Geith recently presented the new strategy to the eXtension Board of Directors.